Marion Rincel and Muriel Darnaudéry in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

Maternal separation in rodents: a journey from gut to brain and nutritional perspectives. Rincel M, Darnaudéry M. Proc Nutr Soc. 2019 Jun 28:1-20. doi: 10.1017/S0029665119000958.


The developmental period constitutes a critical window of sensitivity to stress. Indeed, early-life adversity increases the risk to develop psychiatric diseases, but also gastrointestinal disorders such as the irritable bowel syndrome at adulthood. In the past decade, there has been huge interest in the gut-brain axis, especially as regards stress-related emotional behaviours. Animal models of early-life adversity, in particular, maternal separation (MS) in rodents, demonstrate lasting deleterious effects on both the gut and the brain. Here, we review the effects of MS on both systems with a focus on stress-related behaviours. In addition, we discuss more recent findings showing the impact of gut-directed interventions, including nutrition with pre- and probiotics, illustrating the role played by gut microbiota in mediating the long-term effects of MS. Overall, preclinical studies suggest that nutritional approaches with pro- and prebiotics may constitute safe and efficient strategies to attenuate the effects of early-life stress on the gut-brain axis. Further research is required to understand the complex mechanisms underlying gut-brain interaction dysfunctions after early-life stress as well as to determine the beneficial impact of gut-directed strategies in a context of early-life adversity in human subjects.

M. Darnaudery / M. Rincel

Marion Rincel did her Ph. D under the direction of Muriel Darnaudery in Nutrineuro (Psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition team). She is recipient of the Health science and biology PhD award, Univ. Bordeaux (2018) and of the ‘International Early Career Nutrition Research Championships 2018’.  She is now a post-doctoral researcher within the Immunology Department at Institut Pasteur in Paris (Gerard Eberl’s team).

Muriel and Marion alos published recently about the same subject in Brain Behavior and Immunity and Psychopharmacology:

Pharmacological restoration of gut barrier function in stressed neonates partially reverses long-term alterations associated with maternal separation. Rincel M, Olier M, Minni A, de Oliveira CM, Matime Y, Gaultier E, Grit I, Helbling JC, Costa AM, Lépinay A, Moisan MP, Layé S, Ferrier L, Parnet P, Theodorou V, Darnaudéry M. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019 May;236(5):1583-1596. doi: 10.1007/s00213-019-05252-w.

Multi-hit early life adversity affects gut microbiota, brain and behavior in a sex-dependent manner. Rincel M, Aubert P, Chevalier J, Grohard PA, Basso L, Monchaux de Oliveira C, Helbling JC, Lévy É, Chevalier G, Leboyer M, Eberl G, Layé S, Capuron L, Vergnolle N, Neunlist M, Boudin H, Lepage P, Darnaudéry M. Brain Behav Immun. 2019 Mar 11. pii: S0889-1591(18)30570-1. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.03.006.

Publication: 30/08/19
Last update 30/08/19